October 12, 2018 / 12:32 PM / 7 months ago

Norway gas maintenance outages seen higher than recent years in 2019

OSLO, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Maintenance at Norway’s natural gas fields and processing plants is scheduled to cut production capacity by some 7 billion cubic meters (bcm) in 2019, at the high end of cuts seen in recent years, data from system operator Gassco showed on Friday.

While Gassco’s outage plans for offshore fields and onshore processing plants in the following year are typically published in the fourth quarter, it can also revise plans at a later stage, potentially adding to or subtracting from the total.

Last year, Gassco transported a record 117.4 bcm through the pipeline systems from Norway to continental Europe and Britain.

The scope of outages announced so far for 2019 is 3 bcm bigger than that of 2017, a year of exceptionally low maintenance, and is expected to be at least as high as that of 2018, a Reuters comparison showed.

When Gassco published outage plans for 2018, in December 2017, they amounted to 3.2 bcm, but analysts said this number was only partial, with some predicting 2018 maintenance-related reductions of 5 to 7 bcm.

Gassco was not immediately available for comment.

Norway’s largest gas field Troll will undergo maintenance between April and September, with August and September the months with the highest maintenance impact for the field.

Kollsnes, the country’s largest processing plant and a major exporting facility to Britain, will also undergo major maintenance, with the heaviest part taking place between Aug. 24 and Sept. 5, when capacity will be reduced by 146.5 million cubic metres per day. (Reporting by Lefteris Karagiannopoulos; Editing by Terje Solsvik and Mark Potter)

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